Inside the Numbers: SEC Championship
The SEC Championship is right around the corner, and on paper it seems like a mismatch. Alabama is a two-score favorite, with seemingly everyone backing the Crimson Tide. Missouri is not to be overlooked, as they keep winning in the face of doubters and made an unlikely run to their second consecutive SEC East title.
Before Saturday’s game, take a look at some of the interesting statistics that will help determine the title game.
- 4.3. Alabama is only allowing 4.3 fourth quarter points per game this season, something that could come into play against Missouri. The Tigers have had several tense wins this season and average 7.8 fourth quarter points, including 9.3 fourth quarter points over their last three games.
- 46.4. Alabama has been a different team when they have to leave Bryant-Denny Stadium this season. For the year, they give up 46.4 more yards of total offense on the road or at a neutral site than they do at home (from 293 to 339.4). Missouri certainly doesn’t have the most threatening offense, averaging just 365.9 yards per game, but Maty Mauk is capable of making plays at the right time.
- 8.8. Nick Saban has take five teams to SEC Championship, split between LSU and Alabama, and he’s done pretty well once he’s gotten there. Saban is 4-1 in SEC title games, with an average margin of 8.8 points in his teams’ favor.
- 0. Maty Mauk might as well change his name to “Money,” because he’s been lights out in winning time. None of his 11 interceptions have come in the fourth quarter, while he’s thrown 8 of his 22 touchdowns in the fourth. Despite throwing his fewest pass attempts in the final quarter, Mauk has his highest percentage of yards by quarter in the fourth to go along with his highest passer rating.
- 3.4. The Tigers really get rolling when they can get to the quarterback. Mizzou averaged 3.4 sacks in its 10 regular-season wins, versus just 2.0 in two losses. Alabama has been throwing more than previous years with Lane Kiffin calling the shots, and the Crimson Tide’s offensive line has been banged up all season. Missouri may be able to tee off on Blake Sims.
- 3. Missouri had some turnover issues earlier in the season, but they cleaned it up in November. The Tigers cut their turnovers in half from the previous month, with just three giveaways in the final month of the regular season. Alabama is not much for takeaways, but they’ve come up with several late in games to pull out wins. With the way the Tigers have taken care of the ball, that won’t be as likely.